Monday, October 18, 2010

The Piding - Calayan Rail Gallirallus calayanensis

Description of "The Piding"

The Calayan Rail Gallirallus calayanensis is a flightless bird of the rail, moorhen, and coot family Rallidae that inhabits Calayan Island in the Philippines. Though well-known to natives of the island as the "piding", it was first observed by ornithologist Carmela Espa ola in May 2004 and the discovery officially announced on August 16, 2004. The formal description as a species new to science appeared in the journal Forktail Allen et al. 2004 .

The Calayan Rail is one of the 20 known extant flightless rails. It is small and dark brown, with a distinctive orange-red bill and legs, and utters loud, harsh calls. Its habitat seems to be restricted to forests on coralline limestone areas on Calayan and extends to a total of less than 100 160 km . Biologists estimate that there may be 200 pairs on the island.

The Calayan Rail's genus, Gallirallus, includes many species of Southwest Pacific islands, of which the most familiar in the English-speaking world is the Weka of New Zealand. Its species name was derived from the name of the island.


Friday, December 4, 2009

Calayan, Cagayan Philippines - A paradise only few ever heard of...

I was born at Calayan Island in late 70′s and spent all my childhood days to adulthood in the island. Back when i was gradeschool, I remember  there was no electricity and only during fullmoon you could see the town lighted at nighttime. Travelling back then to Aparri could take you 8 to 10 long hours on a motorboat called the ”Lampitaw”. The Lampitaw is our primary transportation since there were no airport in the island. It was an ordeal travelling with the Lampitaw due to incovenience and overcrowding. You have no choice but to take the Lampitaw because there’s no other alternative. The adventure part of the trip is when the rough water and  big waves come at times. Calayanos got used to it but first timers usually complains about how rough the water is.  On a cloudy day you couldn’t see any other island during the course of  the trip but just the seawater and occasional splash of water to the Lampitaw which adds to the ordeal of the trip. Once the Lampitaw nears Fuga Island, it indicates that you’re half way through your destination. It means 4 more hours or so you will be on your destination.

Today through the initiative of the Local government, Calayan is lucky to have a medium size ferry travelling from Calayan-Camiguin-Sta Ana. This would take four hours from Calayan to Sta Ana. Two hours From Calayan to Camiguin island and from Camiguin to Sta Ana would be another two hours. This is a breakthrough as far as the convenience of travelling is concerned. The ferry could accommodate 150 plus passengers each would be having a convenient seat.

Having said about the long way trip to Calayan, your visit to the Island will be very rewarding. The island is surrounded by beautiful sceneries, the crystal clear waters, pristine white beaches, abundance with corals, waterfalls('Bataraw, Malangsi'), mountain vistas, cheapest fresh seafoods, and other unimaginable sites for photography enthusiasts.

The Ferry via Calayan-Camiguin-Sta Ana

Calayan, Cagayan is the Northernmost Municipality of Cagayan Province in the Philippines. It is a  four hour trip from Sta Ana-Camiguin-Calayan via Ferry. An alternative way is to take a 4 to 6-hour trip with the "Lampitaw" from Aparri or Claveria Cagayan.
The island composing of 4 separate islands has 16000 plus residents according to the latest census.A flightless bird called 'PIDING' by the natives of Calayan resides here in the island. One of the species of Gallirallus and it can only be found in Calayan. This bird was discovered in 2004 by a group of scientists/explorers visiting in the island. The bird was named later on as Gallirallus Calayanensis, named after Calayan.

Places To Visit at Calayan Islands
  • Sibang Cove Dadao, Calayan Island
  • Camiguin Islands Humpback Whales, Dolphins
  • Didicas Island Camiguin
  • Bataraw Falls
  • Malangsi
  • Piddan Point
  • Kumanabang (a small island)
  • Lighthouse Near Sibang
  • Magsidel Punta
  • Dipari Island-Dilam
  • Sibang Beach
  • Smith volcano, Babuyan Claro
  • Dalupiri
  • Katanapan, Dibay
  • Puraw
  • The "Piding", a flightless Bird Discovered & can be found only at Calayan
  • Balagubag
  • Macara
  • Banua
  • Rarasi
  • Kaniwalan

Cagayan Province Municipalities

Sibang Calayan, Cagayan

Poblacion Calayan, Cagayan

Poblacion Calayan, Cagayan

Sibang Beach
A small "Lampitaw" umounting passengers

Sibang Beach


The "Piding"

Sibang Cove

Sibang Rocks

Poblacion Calayan, Cagayan

Sibang Calayan, Cagayan

Sibang Punta, Calayan, Cagayan
Smith Volcano, Babuyan Claro("Kurog")

Balatubat, Camiguin Island

Other Pictures of Calayan | Related blogs 'bout Calayan1 | Related blogs 'bout Calayan2
Acknowledgements & Sources:Wikipedia, Manilaoldtimer, moncorpuz, pinoyphotography, aaronvicencio, Calayan Cagayan Site
created by Michael Lawrence Paypon